Dissension within the Democratic party in 1860 and Stephen A. Douglas's capture of the party's presidential nomination at the party's May convention are satirized as a cockfight. Douglas stands, the victorious cock, atop his badly beaten rival, incumbent president James C. Buchanan. Feathers still fill the air from the fray.
Douglas crows:"Cock a doodle doo!!
I've got the best of you.
And I can beat the Lincoln Cock;
And Old Kentucky too!"
Buchanan moans, "Oh dear! Oh dear! this is my last kick, I'm a used up old rooster."
On the right an unidentified man sets a new cock into the ring, Kentucky senator John C. Breckinridge. The man warns Douglas, "Don't crow too loud my fine fellow, here's a Kentucky chicken that will worry you a little." The Breckinridge cock says anxiously, "I suppose now I'm in the pit that I must tackle the bantam, but I don't much like the job."
A simian Irishman wearing a stovepipe hat watches from ringside left, probably representing the old-line Tammany Democrats of New York. He reflects, "He [Buchanan] wos a werry game old bird, but that ere bantam, was a leetle too much for him!"